In the Vault

"In the Vault' is a short story by American horror fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft, written on September 18, 1925 and first published in the November 1925 issue of the amateur press journal Tryout.

"In the Vault"
AuthorH.P. Lovecraft
CountryUnited States
Genre(s)Horror short story
Published inTryout
Publication date1925


George Birch, undertaker for the New England town of Peck Valley, finds himself trapped in the vault where coffins are stored during winter for burial in the spring. When Birch stacks the coffins to reach a transom window, his feet break through the lid of the top coffin, injuring his ankles and forcing him to crawl out of the vault.

Later, Dr. Davis investigates the vault, and finds that the top coffin was one of inferior workmanship, which Birch used as a repository for Asaph Sawyer, a vindictive citizen whom Birch had disliked, even though the coffin had originally been built for the much shorter Matthew Fenner. Davis finds that Birch had cut off Sawyer's feet in order to fit the body into the coffin, and the wounds in Birch's ankles are actually teeth marks.


"In the Vault" was based on a suggestion made in August 1925 by Charles W. Smith, editor of the amateur journal Tryout, which Lovecraft recorded in a letter: "an undertaker imprisoned in a village vault where he was removing winter coffins for spring burial, & his escape by enlarging a transom reached by the piling up of the coffins".[1] Lovecraft accordingly dedicated the story to Smith.


The story was rejected by Weird Tales in November 1925; according to Lovecraft, editor Farnsworth Wright feared that "its extreme gruesomeness would not pass the Indiana censorship",[2] a reference to the controversy of C. M. Eddy, Jr.'s "The Loved Dead".

After being published in Tryout, the story was submitted in August 1926 to Ghost Stories, a "very crude" pulp magazine that specialized in "true" tales of the supernatural, which also rejected it. August Derleth urged Lovecraft to resubmit the story to Weird Tales in 1931, which finally published it in its April 1932 edition.[3]

An H. P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia calls "In the Vault" "a commonplace tale of supernatural vengeance" in which "HPL attempts unsuccessfully to write in a more homespun, colloquial vein."[3]


  1. ^ H. P. Lovecraft, Selected Letters Vol. 2, p. 26; cited in Joshi and Schultz, p. 125.
  2. ^ H. P. Lovecraft, letter to Lillian D. Clark, December 2, 1925; cited in Joshi and Schultz, p. 125.
  3. ^ a b Joshi and Schultz, p. 125.


  • S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz, An H. P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia.

External links

1937 Fox vault fire

On July 9, 1937, a major fire broke out in a 20th Century-Fox film storage facility in Little Ferry, New Jersey, United States. It was caused by the spontaneous combustion of nitrate film stored in inadequately ventilated vaults. The fire resulted in one death and two injuries, and destroyed all of the film in the vault.

This fire was responsible for the loss of most of the silent films produced by Fox Film Corporation before 1932. Also destroyed were Educational Pictures negatives and films of several other studios. It brought attention to the potential for decaying nitrate film to spontaneously ignite, and changed the focus of film preservation efforts to include a greater focus on fire safety.

Aagje Vanwalleghem

Aagje Vanwalleghem (Poção de Pedras, Brazil, 24 October 1987) is a Belgian gymnast. She was originally named Ana Maria Pereira da Silva and was adopted by a Belgian teacher.Aagje competed in the 2004 Olympic games and has taken part in numerous other international competitions.

Courtney McGregor

Courtney Louise McGregor (born (1998-11-17)17 November 1998) is a New Zealand representative female artistic gymnast. She finished 41st in the All-around Women's artistic qualification with a best placing of 13th in the vault.

Diane Foote

Diane Rena Foote (also Dianne, now Moreland, born 1 September 1954) is a New Zealand Olympic gymnast.

Foote was born in 1954 in Dunedin, New Zealand. She is a descendent of Harry Arthur Foote, who founded the Dunedin freight company H A Foote Haulage Limited in 1918. She owns 14% of the company shares.Foote represented her country at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, in gymnastics. In the vault, she came 69th. In the floor exercise, she was 99th. On the uneven bars, she came 113th. On the balance beam, she was 94th. In the Women's individual all-around preliminary round, she was ranked 104th of 118 competitors. Only the top-placed 36 competitors made it into the final round. She is listed as New Zealand Olympic competitor number 275. When Barry Maister as head of the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) had the project of honouring the country's Olympic competitors, Foote and fellow 1972 gymnast Terry Sale were among the 21 individuals that the NZOC had lost contact with.Foote took on the surname Moreland when she married, and she now lives in the Tauranga suburb of Papamoa Beach.

Dipa Karmakar

Dipa Karmakar (born 9 August 1993) is an Indian artistic gymnast.

Karmakar first gained attention when she won a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, becoming the first Indian female gymnast to do so in the history of the Games. She also won a bronze medal at the Asian Gymnastics Championships and finished fifth at the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, both firsts for her country.

Karmakar represented India at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, becoming the first Indian female gymnast ever to compete in the Olympics, and the first Indian gymnast to do so in 52 years. She attained fourth position in Women's Vault Gymnastics event at Rio, with an overall score of 15.066.In July 2018, Karmakar became the first Indian gymnast to win a gold medal at a global event, when she finished first in the vault event of the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup at Mersin, Turkey.Karmakar is one of the only five women who have successfully landed the Produnova, which is regarded as the most difficult vault currently performed in women's gymnastics.Karmakar is a recipient of the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India. For her performance in Rio Olympics 2016, the Government of India conferred upon her the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in August 2016.

Disney Vault

The "Disney Vault" is the term used by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment for its policy of putting home video releases of Walt Disney Animation Studios's animated features on moratorium. Each Disney film is available for purchase for a limited time, after which it is put "in the vault" and not made available in stores for several years until its re-release.

Drayton Bassett

Drayton Bassett is a village and civil parish in the District of Lichfield, Staffordshire, England. Nearby are the town of Tamworth and Middleton Lakes RSPB reserve, formerly a gravel quarry known in part as Drayton Bassett Pits.

After the Norman Conquest the manor belonged to the Basset (of Drayton) family until 1483 followed by the Earls of Leicester and then from about 1600 the Earls of Essex who sold it to Robert Peel.

Robert Peel (1788 – 1850), prime minister and creator of the Metropolitan Police Force for London, lived in Drayton Manor (now demolished and replaced by Drayton Manor Theme Park) and is buried in the vault of the parish church, St Peter.

The Birmingham and Fazeley Canal runs nearby and is crossed by an unusual folly-like footbridge. The River Tame runs close to the canal. It also lies on the Heart of England Way.

The rock/pop star Julian Cope lived in the village from the mid-1980s to the early-1990s.

EA Access

EA Access (stylized as EA access) is a subscription-based gaming service from Electronic Arts for the Microsoft Xbox One, offering access to selected games published by Electronic Arts along with additional incentives. A similar service, Origin Access, is available for Microsoft Windows PCs.EA Access was initially pitched to both Microsoft for the Xbox One and Sony for the PlayStation 4; after Sony declined to participate, EA Access launched only on Xbox One on August 11, 2014.

List of backward compatible games for Xbox One

The Xbox One gaming console has received updates from Microsoft since its launch in 2013 that enable it to play select games from its two predecessor consoles, Xbox and Xbox 360. On June 15, 2015, backward compatibility with supported Xbox 360 games became available to eligible Xbox Preview program users with a beta update to the Xbox One system software. The dashboard update containing backward compatibility was released publicly on November 12, 2015. On October 24, 2017, another such update added games from the original Xbox library. The following is a list of all backward compatible games on Xbox One under this functionality.

Lou Yun

Lou Yun (simplified Chinese: 楼云; traditional Chinese: 樓雲; pinyin: Lóu Yún; born June 23, 1964 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang) is a retired Chinese gymnast who competed in the 1984 and 1988 Summer Olympic Games, winning the vault twice.

Lou Yun began gymnastics training at the Hangzhou Sports School for Amateurs, and in the same year he also entered the provincial sports school of Zhejiang. He was selected for the National Gymnastics team in 1977. Known for his specialty in the vault, he won the 1987 World Championships in that event, in addition to his two gold medals.

Man in the Vault

Man in the Vault is a 1956 film noir about a locksmith, played by William Campbell, who is forced to help gangsters commit a robbery. The screenplay by Burt Kennedy was based on the novel The Lock and the Key by Frank Gruber. The film was the directorial debut of Andrew V. McLaglen.

Masao Takemoto

Masao Takemoto (竹本正男, Takemoto Masao, September 29, 1919 – February 2, 2007) was a Japanese artistic gymnast who won two world titles and seven Olympic medals.At the 1952 Summer Olympics he won the silver medal in the vault with a score of 19.150, which was 0.050 short of the gold medal. Two years later he became world champion in the floor exercise, sharing the first placed with Valentin Muratov; he also won a silver medal with the Japanese team and a bronze at the parallel bars. At the 1956 Summer Olympics Takemoto won three bronze medals: in the horizontal bar, parallel bars and rings; he also received a silver medal as part of the Japanese team. His main skills were on the floor exercise and he proved it once again at the 1958 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, where he successfully defended his title; he also won silver medals in the vault and team event, as well as a bronze medal in the horizontal bar. At the 1960 Summer Olympics Takemoto won a team gold medal and placed second in the horizontal bar.Takemoto had a degree in physical education from Nippon Sport Science University and later coached the national gymnastics team. In 1997 he was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame. He died from cholangiocarcinoma on 2 February 2007 at the age of 87 in Kanagawa.

McKayla Maroney

McKayla Rose Maroney (born December 9, 1995) is a retired American multiple gold-medal-awarded artistic gymnast. She was a member of the American women's gymnastics team dubbed the Fierce Five at the 2012 Summer Olympics, where she won a gold medal in the team and an individual silver medal in the vault event. Maroney was also a member of the gold-winning American team at the 2011 World Championships where she won gold medals in the team and vault competitions. She defended her World title and won the gold medal on vault at the 2013 World Championships, becoming the first U.S. female gymnast to defend a World Championships vault title.

A photograph of her with a "not impressed" expression, taken after winning silver in the 2012 Olympics, became an Internet meme. In 2016, she retired from competitive gymnastics.

Ralf-Peter Hemmann

Ralf-Peter Hemmann (born 8 December 1958) is a retired German gymnast. He competed at the 1980 Summer Olympics in all artistic gymnastics events and won a silver medal with the East German team. Individually he finished fourth in the vault and horizontal bar. He won a team bronze medal at the world championships in 1978 and an individual gold in the vault in 1981.

Rape of Persephone

The Rape of Persephone is a classical mythological subject in Western art, depicting the abduction of Persephone by Hades.

Examples include:

The Rape of Persephone in the vault of the Piccolomini Library, Duomo, Siena, by Pinturicchio

The Rape of Proserpina by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

The Rape of Persephone, painting in the Macedonian Tomb I in Vergina (Aegae)

Something Nasty in the Vault

"Something Nasty in the Vault" is the fifth episode of the third series of the British comedy series Dad's Army that was originally transmitted on Thursday 9 October 1969.

Stella Ashcroft

Stella Ashcroft (born 27 July 2002) is an artistic gymnast from New Zealand, specialising in the vault, beam and floor events. In 2018 she competed at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia.Ashcroft is from Christchurch, New Zealand. In 2016 she won a bronze medal at the Pacific Rim Championships. In 2017, she won gold, silver and bronze medals at the Junior Commonwealth Gymnastics Championships in Namibia.In 2018 Ashcroft received a New Zealand Racing Board Scholarship. In 2018 she competed at the gymnastics World Cup in Melbourne, Australia, her first event as a senior athlete.


Tryout was an amateur press journal published from 1914 to 1946 by Charles W. Smith of Haverhill, Massachusetts. It was connected to the National Amateur Press Association.

Smith (1852-1948) was a friend and correspondent of H. P. Lovecraft; Tryout was the first outlet for the H. P. Lovecraft short stories "The Cats of Ulthar" (November 1920), "The Terrible Old Man" (July 1921), "The Tree" (October 1921), and "In the Vault" (November 1925). Smith provided the plot idea for "In the Vault".

Tryout also published non-fiction articles and several poems by Lovecraft. The publication was noted for its typographical errors, which Lovecraft referred to as "tryoutisms".

Vault (comics)

The Vault was the widely used nickname of a fictional prison facility for technological-based superhuman criminals (predominantly supervillains) appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The prison first appeared in Avengers Annual #15 (1986). The prison's full official name is the United States Maximum Security Installation for the Incarceration of Superhuman Criminals.

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